Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Here's Your Quarter, Ya Bum!

I saw this today. This really happened. The exit I take off of the freeway has three lanes. From the middle lane, you can either go straight or right, but not left. I always go left, so there I am in the left lane. Smart. Occasionally, a homeless guy is sitting at the bottom of the ramp looking for donations to his retirement fund. This was one of those occasional days.

As I came down the ramp, a car was ahead of me in the middle lane. Suddenly, an arm came flying out of the driver's window and I heard a distinctive ting on the sidewalk. This person was flinging a quarter at a homeless guy from about 25 feet.

If this was 19th century England and an arm draped in purple velvet emerged from a five horse drawn carriage and fired loose change at the layabouts on the sidewalk and in the mud, I would think, "What a kind gesture from the ruling class."

But this was a bare arm coming out of a white Chevy Tahoe. And unless that tinging came from a brand new $10 coin, this was nothing but an insult. And the guy didn't even reaction. Surprisingly, he wasn't prepared for a long distance donation, so that quarter is probably still sitting in the weeds. At least her conscience is clear. And at least she didn't ting that quarter off of my windshield.

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